When we last revised Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, I struggled with including the list of all the risk factors for PMAD. It’s important information to have, and yet, I worry about someone who has a lot of those factors reading through it and getting more and more discouraged, and worried that there was no way they could avoid PMAD given their complex history. I wanted to find an approach that could empower rather than defeat.
Yesterday, I played around with a lot of metaphors…
- a seesaw where the more risk factors you have, the more protective factors you need to balance them out
- a budget metaphor
- a fill the bucket metaphor where the risk factors drain the bucket
- a floating object metaphor… if you have a lot weighing you down, you need a lot to buoy you up so you don’t feel like you’re drowning
Finally I found a metaphor I liked… I created a handout where I try out the baggage metaphor…. if you know you have a lot to carry, then you can plan ahead (pack it well), build your strength (by learning coping skills), get a luggage cart (learn about resources) and ask for help to carry it.
Here’s the free printable handout, feel free to use it any time, anywhere.
I also updated two other handouts: One on what you really need to buy for babies, and one on planning with your parenting partners how you’ll divide up responsibilities after the baby is born.